Sep 29 2015
Early this month Debbie Kalbfleisch told us of a magical place loaded with migrating warblers where the chickadees eat out of your hand. The only rules were: Bring black sunflower seed, Never feed the chickadees near the road, Leave no seed behind (or they will learn to eat from the ground, not your hand).
Our birding email group, fittingly called “The Chickadees,” could not resist these enticements so Debbie led us there last Saturday. Above, she demonstrates that it really works.
Naturally the rest of us had to try. Below, Barb Griffith, Ramona Sahni and I hold out our hands while Donna Foyle takes our picture.
As the chickadees became accustomed to our large group of 12 they came to our hands more often, taking turns and flying off to cache the seeds.
Then the warblers showed up. (I’d forgotten that migrating warblers forage near chickadees.) We put the seed in our pockets and raised our binoculars but the chickadees followed, still expecting to eat. Fortunately one of us always had a hand out.
I missed a few warblers because I love the chickadees so much.
You can train your own backyard chickadees to eat from your hand. All it takes is cold weather and a lot of patience. Here’s how –> Seeing Eye To Eye With Birds
A bird on the hand is worth two in the bush.
(photos by Donna Foyle)